Some Signs of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a form of cancer that manifests itself in different ways and signs. The most common of skin cancer signs is a change in the skin like growths or sores that don’t heal. If you find lumps that are smooth, shiny or waxy looking, or is red or reddish brown in color, it is better to visit the doctor to find out if you are suffering from skin cancer as early as possible.

Red spots that are rough or scaly are other skin cancer signs that should be shown to the doctor when in doubt. As skin cancer can start from or near a mole, make it a point to have your health care provider check all unusual moles that seem to be larger than others, have different colors or have irregular edges. This is because these are all signs for skin cancer.

Skin cancer signs are listed as the “ABCD” warning signs of melanoma where:

A – Asymmetry means that one half of the mole does not match the other half.

B – Border irregularity where the edges of the moles are ragged, blurred and notched.

C – Color where you find irregular pigmentation in the moles of your body. There may be moles in shades of tan, brown or black with a mottled or splotchy appearance.

D – Diameter where you find the width of the moles to be more than 6 millimeters, or the size of a pencil eraser. Abnormal growth in the mole should be reported and investigated.

The other signals for skin cancer are usually mottled, light brown to black and flat blemishes having irregular edges. These moles may turn red, blue or white and may also bleed or crust on its surface. The earliest skin cancer signs for squamous cell carcinoma are skin growths called actinic keratosis.

These are small and scaly spots that develop on the parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. They usually start as small, red and flat spots that grow large, scaly and thick like a wart and usually form on the face or back of hands.

The other signs you should keep an eye out for are:

* Changes in color or shape in existing moles, or moles that start to bleed or ooze.

* Moles that grow into unusually large size.

* Sores on the mole that heal very slowly.

* Blood blisters which you find under toenails, which develop on its own, and not because of a blow.

* New moles that develop after the age of 30. People usually get moles within the age of 30s; new moles that start after it have to be studied and investigated.

These skin cancer signs can be identified and declared skin cancer only by your doctor. So if you find any of these skin cancer signs, make sure that you consult your doctor to find out the next step to be taken.

3 Effective Skin Cancer Treatments

Skin cancer is contracted by approximately 60,000 people in the UK each year. It is normally caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light which makes the process of cell division in your skin malfunction. As a result your skin cells start to multiply in a rapid, out of control way leading to the formation of a cancerous tumour which usually appears as a blemish on your skin. Fortunately, most of these cancers are very treatable if caught in the early stages. In this article I am going to be discussing three of the possible skin cancer treatments that are available to you.

1) SURGERY:- This is the most common treatment for this type of cancer. Smaller tumours can normally be removed under local anaesthetic. However, larger tumours may require a skin graft which involves the cancerous skin being removed and then replaced with a layer of healthy skin taken from another part of the body. If the cancer has spread beyond the skin and to the lymph nodes (glands that help the body get rid of unwanted bacteria) they may also have to be removed through surgery. This type of treatment has few side effects but may result in some permanent scarring of the skin depending upon the size and position of the tumour.

2) RADIOTHERAPY:- This type of treatment involves using high energy radiation beams to shrink or kill any cancerous cells. It is normally used as an alternative to surgery as it can treat the skin cancer without any scarring. Radiotherapy may also be used following surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and reduce the chances of the cancer returning. Although radiotherapy does not result in scarring there are a number of negative side effects including a feeling of sickness similar to the flu, general tiredness and hair loss in the affected area. However, these side effects are generally temporary and will stop once the radiotherapy treatment ends.

3) CRYOTHERAPY:- This type of treatment involves freezing the cancerous cells using liquid nitrogen. It is most effective for early stage skin cancers and may not be possible with more advanced cancers. If this treatment is used the affected skin will scab over and after about a month this scab will fall off. Cryotherapy is a very low risk procedure but there is a small risk of scarring or infection on the area of skin that is treated.

Although skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK it is highly treatable with the success rates being particularly high if it is discovered in the early stages. Therefore, if you notice any unusual skin blemishes that have been there for a while go see your doctor right away. It may turn out to be nothing but if it is an early stage cancerous growth your chances of successful treatment will be much higher if you get it diagnosed now instead of leaving it to grow.

Whilst every intention has been made to make this article accurate and informative, it is intended for general information only. Skin cancer is a very serious, life threatening condition and you should discuss any concerns, treatments or lifestyle changes fully with your doctor.

Sunshine Is the Number One Cause of Skin Cancer

Too much sun is not all good for your body. Just ask a dermatologist and they will tell you that too much sun could risk a lot more than just a bad sunburn. Energy from the sun is actually invisible radiation that is healthy and dangerous at the same time. There are two major types of ultraviolet (UV) rays that reach the earth, UVA and UVB. UVA rays increase the effect of UVB rays. They cause skin cancer, cataracts, aging, wrinkles and loss of elasticity in the skin. UVB rays cause a greater risk of skin cancer than UVA rays. Too much of any type of UV ray is dangerous and fifteen minute segments in direct sunlight between the hours of 10am and 4pm are recommended.

Skin neoplasm (skin cancer) is skin growths with differing causes and varying degrees of malignancy. This type of cancer is the number one cancer in the world and it is estimated that each year there are between one and two million Americans being diagnosed with some type of this cancer. There are several causes for this type of cancer, but the foremost is from the sun and its UV radiation. Skin cancer can be deadly, and limiting your time in the sun or staying out of it altogether is highly recommended. Anyone can get cancer of the skin and there are skin sun screens and supplements that can help in preventing its damaging effects.

The major cause of skin cancer is UV radiation from the sun. Other causes may be from commercial tanning lamps and beds, exposure to toxic chemicals, having a weak immune system or inherited genes can also be contributing factors. Cancer of the skin is a disease where the cells grow abnormally, and when they grow out of control they form a mass or a tumor. One half of all Americans will have some type of skin cancer by the time they reach the age of 55, with the majority being 50 and older who have light/fair skin.

Over doing sunshine can translate into life threatening skin cancer. Skin cancer happens when mutations occur in the DNA of the skin causing skin cells to grow out of control, forming a mass of cancer cells. Skin cancer begins in the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) that provides a protective cover of skin cells that are being continually shed and replaced. A routine skin examination is important for detecting early skin cancer, and it can be detected and cured if it is treated early.

The attitude of “it can’t happen to me” can prove to be a very dangerous and deadly assumption. Most skin cell damage occurs by the age of 18, but the damage to the skin usually does not show up until years later. Studies have shown that a single serious sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer by 50%, and that a lifetime of exposure to the sun’s UV rays can be a factor in determining a person’s risk for skin cancer.

There are three major types of this cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Basal cell is the most common type, affecting 90% of the people in the United States. It is the least serious type of cancer of the skin. Squamous cell is the second most serious cancer as it spreads to vital organs within the body. Malignant melanoma is the most serious and deadly skin cancer. It spreads quickly through the lymph nodes or blood to internal organs in the body. Treatment for basal cell or squamous cell cancer is straightforward and surgical removal of the lesion is usually adequate. Several methods may be required for malignant melanoma, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Sunshine is essential for many internal body functions and staying out of the sunshine will reduce the chances of skin cancer. Staying out of the sun will also reduce the amount of vitamin D the body needs to function properly. Vitamin D is naturally obtained from sunshine, but is also available as a dietary supplement and provides the body with benefits that include preventing rickets, various bone diseases, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A pro health hormone that helps make up vitamin D is vitamin D3 which provides several positive health benefits. This vitamin is sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin and studies have shown that it helps with skin cancer due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Supplementing your daily diet with these tablets is an easy way to limit your time in the sun and get the vitamin D the body requires.

Information About Skin Cancer

Cancer that is formed in the tissues of the skin is known as Skin Cancer. It is one of the most common kinds of cancer that affects men and women. This cancer affects about a million people every year and there are many factors that cause this including excessive sun exposure, tanning, weak immune systems, etc. Read on to get a complete awareness of this most common form of cancer and on steps to prevent it.

How is skin cancer caused?

When the skin cells modify and multiply in an abnormal fashion, the uncontrollable growth causes the development of a mass known as a tumor. This tumor that occurs in the skin is also known as a lesion and these cancerous growths are malignant in nature which causes the destruction of adjacent cells leading to random growth. These tumors flow through the blood stream and affect other remote organs also during the advanced stages of skin cancer.

Types of skin cancer

Skin cancer is divided into two kinds depending on their ability to spread around. The two types of skin cancer are non-melanoma and melanoma. Non-melanoma includes the type basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in it.

1. Melanoma – The cancer that affects the melanocytes or the skin cells that create the pigments.
2. Basal cell carcinoma – The cancer that affects the lower part of the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin.
3. Squamous cell carcinoma – The cancer that affects the squamous cells or the flat cells that form the skin surface.

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma normally do not spread to other parts of the body whereas melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer which spreads to other parts of the body. The major ratio and the most common type of skin cancer are the carcinoma types with the aggressive melanoma forming the least portion.

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

The symptoms of skin cancer are skin changes which take time to heal along with ulcers. Sometimes skin discoloration and changes to moles on the skin can also been seen. The most common symptom is a small lump that is shiny and pale in color or a firm red lump. Some types of cancer also are associated with rough and scaly patches or flat scaly patches of red or brown color. Also beware of any new suspicious growth and consult a physician in such cases. Though these growths are most of the times painless, they can also be painful at times.

A smooth round bump is normally developed on the head, shoulder or neck with signs of crusting and bleeding with development of the tumor in cases of basal cell carcinoma. In squamous cell carcinoma, a thick red color patch along with ulcer and bleeding can be developed. Brown or blackish lesions are formed in cases of melanomas. The lesion exhibits change in size, color or shape as a symptom of the melanoma becoming malignant.

Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

This cancer is diagnosed by the physician in two main methods. The first and the most common method is the skin examination. In this method the doctor looks out for any abnormal growth or irregularity in the skin. This can be followed by a biopsy in case of finding any abnormal growth. In case of biopsy, the affected area or abnormal growth is well studied under a microscope to check for the presence of cancerous cells.

Treatment of Skin Cancer

Surgery is one effective method for the treatment of non-melanoma cancer types. The complete procedure of surgical treatment begins with surgery and includes follow-up methods of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In the surgical methods, the lesion and a calculated amount of tissues around it is removed so as to make the body tumor free. The Moh’s micrographic surgery is one effective technique that is used for this process.

Prevention of Skin cancer

Early diagnosis and detection can help treat skin cancer before it turns dangerous and hence self evaluation of your skin on a regular basis is a must on a frequent basis. Look for any kind of abnormal changes, discoloration or growth in your skin. You can also undertake a doctor visit once a year to detect any signs or symptoms of cancer. In certain cases of high-risk situations, you can consult a skin specialist on a regular basis to screen for this cancer.

Skin cancer can be prevented by adopting a few basic tips which can be very useful in your daily life.

1. Use Sunscreens – 90% of the skin cancers are known to be caused by harmful UV radiations and sunscreens are the best protector when you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors. UV rays damage our cell DNA structure and modify them making them cancerous. Minimize outings during the time when the sun is at its brightest. Also try to maintain your presence within the shade where ever possible. But even if you are in a shade, remember to wear your sunscreen,
2. Avoid excessive tanning – Artificial lights as in tanning beds, lamps and booths, all contain UV rays and increase the chances of melanoma.
3. Wear protective dressings – Though sunscreens do protect, you can consider wearing protective dressings like a hat or sunglasses, which can protect your eyes and facial skin from the sun.
4. Avoid childhood sunburns – Most of the times, a burn during your childhood can increase your risk of being affected with skin cancer along the years as you grow. Thus it is required that you monitor kids when they are in the sun reducing their exposure.
5. Eat healthy – A weak immune system is a ready agent for skin cancer. Make sure that you include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables so as to improve your body’s immunity power.

People who run a higher risk of Skin cancer

Though many people are equally exposed to the chances of this cancer, there are a few who run a higher risk. Individuals with a family medical history of skin cancer or those who possess fair skin tone and freckles run a higher risk. Also people who are addictive to tanning and spend a lot of hours outdoors in the sun along with a weak immune system also possess equal risks of getting this cancer.

Herbs for Skin Cancer and Other Cancers

If you are looking for natural skin cancer treatments then first and foremost you must think holistically. Skin cancer is more than skin deep. Natural remedies, natural treatments and natural practitioners always support the body as a whole.

This article outlines natural treatments for skin cancer, specifically medicinal herbs and their vast range of anti-cancer actions. This includes is a compilation of herbs that are beneficial for many types of cancer including, but not limited to, skin cancer.

Skin cancer, or indeed, any kind of cancer needs a holistic approach to support the body no matter what method of treatment is used.

Herbs can play a huge role in not only nourishing and supporting the body and affected tissues but for the treatment of the actual cancer itself, for example topical applications for skin cancer.

Herbs used in the treatment of cancer may be chosen for their nutritive, alterative, tonic, anti-inflammatory, alkalizing, adaptogenic, stress/nervine support, pain relief and tissue protection.

There are herbs with specific actions that protect cells from DNA and chemical damage.

STOP CANCER CELLS GROWING AND KILL EXISTING CANCER CELLS

Anti-neoplastic herbs help reduce abnormal cellular growth. They stop cancer cells from growing.

Tumour apoptotic herbs disable cancer cells and bring about apoptosis (cell death) without doing serious harm to healthy body cells and without destroying the body’s overall health:
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis), is a prime example of a herb that promotes apoptosis. Bloodroot, used internally and externally acts in the mitochondria of the cancer cell, disabling it so it can no longer produce energy, triggering apoptosis. It does not have this effect on healthy body cells.
Bloodroot is highly effective in the treatment of skin cancer such as BCC, SCC and Melanoma.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is anti-neoplastic. It enables the immune system to help in the prevention of cancerous growth. Astragalus also helps the immune cells to actually recognize cancer cells. It is very effective used concurrently with chemotherapy or radiotherapy to minimize the detrimental side effects without interfering with the treatment.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is alterative, meaning it encourages the body’s natural channels of elimination. Red clover is used in cancer prevention for its phytoestrogenic effect, particularly with breast or prostate cancers. Phytoestrogens are natural plant estrogens that do not stimulate excessive cell growth like other harmful estrogens do.

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been shown to increase and stimulate the natural killer cells of the immune system, helping to protect the body from cell damage caused by inflammation or infecting organisms.

Green Tea (Camellia sinensis ) is another herb with antioxidant properties that inhibits tissue damage by free radicals. The catechins (polyphenols) in green tea have proven anticancer properties and inhibit angiogenesis (blood vessel growth to a cancer tumor).

Beetroot (Beta vulgaris cicla) increases the respiration rate of cancer cells by up to 350%. Increased respiration leads to decreased malignancy and shorter life of the cancer cell. Beetroot contains the antioxidant anthocyan in the pigment. This may be included in the diet or taken as herbal medicine in specified doses of dried powdered root. Scientific research shows beetroot prevents lung, liver and skin cancers. Breetroot has been proven to induce Phase II detoxification in the liver.

Chapparal (Larrea tridentata) discourages DNA mutation. The active principle nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), a polyphenolic compound, is particularly useful in inhibiting promotion of skin cancer. It inhibits an enzyme and other signalling pathways involved in inducing genetic changes (DNA transcription) in the skin cells.

Apricot kernel extract (amygdalin) – contains toxic organic cyanide which destroys cancer cells. An enzyme that is present in normal body cells breaks down the cyanide leaving the non-cancerous cells undamaged. This protective enzyme is not present in cancer cells.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)- gives liver support for ridding toxins and metabolic wastes. Turmeric inhibits angiogenesis (growth of blood vessels that feed cancer cells) and reduces inflammation which may lead to tissue irritation and cell changes.

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) – Immunostimulant and anti-tumour for many types of cancer.
Violet (Viola odorata) The leaves are antineoplastic for breast cancer and used for any breast lumps. Very useful for skin cancer treatment also.

In combination with dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal treatment is likely to begin by aiding the body’s channels of elimination with alterative herbs. At the same time, there will be focus on nourishing and supporting with nutritive herbs and digestive tonics to encourage healthy tissue, immune function and cancer prevention.

Nutritive herbs: Oats (Avena sativa), nettle (Urtica dioica), red clover (Trifolium pratense), chickweed (Stellaria media), Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus),Barley grass (Hordeum vulgare), wheat grass (Triticum sp) and kelp (Fucus vesiculosus or Macrocystis pyrifera) provide bioavailable minerals and vitamins. They can be taken as well as carefully chosen dietary supplements because cancer can partly be seen as a ‘deficiency disease’. The body may require the substances sufficient for rebuilding healthy cells or for supporting an immune system capable of recognizing and destroying cancerous cells. Some supplements will be needed to supply nutrients such as selenium, iodine and many other minerals that are deficient in soils globally.

Anti-scorbutic herbs (for vitamin C): Rose hips, chickweed, nettle, parsley, dandelion, yellow dock, raspberry leaf and violet. These herbs provide vitamin C or aid in its absorption. In relation to cancer vitamin C aids the absorption of other nutrients including iron; assists the immune system; assists the elimination of toxic metals and poisons; is antioxidant, protecting cells from free radical damage; assists the formation of body and blood cells; helps in the healing of damaged tissue, bones and wounds; inhibits metastasis and inhibits tumor growth. In addition, therapeutic doses of supplemental vitamin C are advisable.

DIGESTIVE TONICS and BITTER DIGESTIVE STIMULANTS aid digestion and improve the absorption and assimilation of nutrients.

Digestive tonics: Aloe vera juice, slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra), comfrey (Symphytum officinale), marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra). These are soothing, healing demulcent herbs particularly useful in any cancer of the digestive tract.

Bitter digestive stimulants are also tonic to the digestive tract tissue by stimulating digestive secretions from the stomach, liver and gall bladder: Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus), schisandra (Schisandra chinensis), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata), picrorrhiza (Picrorrhiza kurroa), hops (Humulus lupulus), bupleurum (Bupleurum falcatum), gentian (Gentiana lutea), barberry (Berberis vulgaris), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), yellow dock (Rumex crispus), angelica (Angelica archangelica), peppermint (Mentha piperita), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), wood betony (Stachys betonica), greater celandine (Chelidonium majus). These herbs greatly assist the digestion of food, enabling better uptake of nutrients by the body.

Circulatory stimulants aid the absorption and assimilation of nutrients and other beneficial substances. They also aid the processes of elimination by improving blood flow from the tissues to the organs of elimination: Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), chilli (Capsicum annuum), turmeric (Curcuma longa), ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba),rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Alterative herbs specifically aid the channels and organs of elimination. They are important for helping the body to rid itself of harmful or useless substances and allow other energy to be spent on supportive processes improving vitality – red clover (Trifolium pratense), burdock (Arctium lappa), Poke root (Phytolacca Americana), Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), cleavers (Gallium aparine), garlic (Allium sativum), yellow dock (Rumex cripus), violet (Viola odorata), gotu kola (Centella asiatica), nettle (Urtica dioica), figwort (Scrophularia nodosa), sarsaparilla (Smilax spp.)

Herbs for the liver enhance the elimination of toxins in radiation treatment and especially in chemo, particularly schisandra, Schisandra chinensis and milk thistle, Silybum marianum. They protect the liver. Other herbs to help the liver and cancer are Bupleurum falcatum, Andrographis paniculata and Astragalus.

Antioxidant herbs reduce damage caused by free radicals that can lead to tissue damage and cancer. (Antioxidants are anti-mutagenic). Interestingly, most herbs have antioxidant properties. Here are a just a few: turmeric (Curcuma longa), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), self heal (Prunella vulgaris), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), sage (Salvia officinalis), ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), chilli (Capsicum annuum), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), milk thistle (Silybum marianum), nettle, ginger and parsley.

Allium sativum and Allium cepa contain selenium and sulphur compounds that stimulate enzymes that prevent the conversion of free-radicals to carcinogens. They must be grown in soil containing selenium.

Other cancer preventing substances found in herbal medicine:

– Carotenoids found in barley grass, spirulina, kelp, seaweeds, (most herbs, but high in the yellow/orange vegetables such as pumpkin and carrot).

-Dithiolthiones, diindoles and glucosinolates found in the Brassica, or cabbage family of vegetables. That’s cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale.

– Phyto-estrogens:

1. Phytosterols and steroidal saponins found in wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), Panax ginseng, black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), false unicorn root (ChamHelonias, Tribulus terrestris, licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

2. Lignans that reduce hormone sensitive cancers, found in flaxseed, seaweeds.

3.Polyphenols – isoflavonoids and flavones in Soy, red clover (Trifolium pratense) green beans, legumes and peas.

These above three categories are plant estrogens that act weakly on cell receptor sites, inhibiting the excessive action of more aggressively acting natural and environmental estrogens.

– Polysaccharides – Mushrooms – Shitake, Reishi; Astragalus, Siberian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Echinacea and Aloe vera. Polysaccharides are complex sugars that improve the immune response against tumor cells.

Immunostimulant – The immune system needs support in order to combat cancerous growth as well as to keep the body strong if the person is undergoing surgery, chemo or radiation in the treatment of cancer. Tumour cells can produce cytokines that suppress the immune system.

In addition to the polysaccharide-containing herbs above, use Andrographis paniculata, Picrorrhiza kurroa, Phytolacca americana, Allium sativa (garlic), Echinacea, Olive leaf, Shitake and Reishi mushrooms.

Alkalizing- The modern diet and lifestyle tends towards acidifying the system. Too much easily available meat and refined grains, coupled with stressful lifestyles help create a pH imbalance within the body. With increased acidity there is increased inflammation which may lead to tissue damage and possible cancer development. Some alkalizing herbs are Aloe vera juice, wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa (Medicago sativa), cleavers(Gallium aparine), nettle (Urtica dioica).

Antiparasitic – Parasites excrete toxins that set up carcinogenic processes. Antiparasitic herbs are black walnut (Juglans nigra), cloves (Sysygium aromaticum), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), chillies (Capsicum annuum) and goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis).

OTHER SUPPORT

Cancer is both an emotional and a physical stress on the body. The nervous system can be supported with nervines and adaptogens to help the person to cope.

Nervine tonic – St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), wood betony (Stachys betonica), oats and oatstraw (Avena sativa), vervain (Verbena officinalis), skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Withania somnifera, Lavender(Lavandula), damiana (Turnera diffusa), passionflower (Passiflora incarnate), gotu kola (Centella asiatica), Ginkgo biloba, Brahmi (Bacopa monniera).

Adaptogenic – These herbs work at the cellular level. They increase the capacity of the cells to manufacture and use cell fuel more efficiently. They aid in the assimilation, circulation and integration of other beneficial herbs and substances. This helps normalize the body’s various functions and stimulate recovery processes. Cumulative stress and the body’s subsequent inability to perform its key functions efficiently have been linked with most illnesses. Adaptogenic herbs help the body to adapt to stressors. Schisandra chinensis, Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), Astragalus, Withania, Rehmannia and Maca (Lepidium peruvianum). Bacopa and Andrographis are also possibly adaptogenic.

Specific herbs that minimize the harmful effects of radiation and chemo treatment are the ginsengs (Panax, Eleutherococcus, Lepidium) which are also adaptogenic and immune stimulant. Along with an organic, juicing diet these herbs lessen the detrimental side effects of allopathic treatments. Lepidium peruvianum or meyenii from the Brassica family contains glucosinolates found in other members of the same plant family such as broccoli and cabbage. Glucosinolates help clear toxins, protect DNA and block the initiation of tumors.

Kelp and seaweeds also protect against radiation and provide high amounts of bioavailable minerals, particularly iodine. Withania is helpful in chemotherapy.

I have met people who have decided to take chemo alongside an anticancer diet and herbal regimen. They have not lost their hair or energy and have no nausea. The doctors tell them, “you should have been sick and bald by now!”

Nausea: Other herbs to aid digestion and reduce nausea may be needed especially when the specialist’s treatment causes loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Herbs form the Apiaceae family are indicated – angelica (Angelica archangelica), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Dill (Anethum graveolens) and aniseed (Pimpinella anisum). Also very effective are peppermint, ginger and chamomile.

Pain management

1. Circulatory stimulants may be used for pain associated with cancer where blocked blood vessels cause poor circulation and ischaemia.
2. Nervine tonics – when a tumour is exerting pressure on nerves. This is the cause of most of the severe cancer pain.
3. Anti-inflammatory herbs can be used as in any condition where inflammation is a factor in pain including cancer.

Reducing inflammation is also important in maintaining health and reducing the risk and/or growth of cancer. Increased levels of pro-inflammatory markers are associated with the growth and survival of malignant cells. Moderating inflammatory mediators such as Cox 2 and leukotrienes can help decrease cancer spread. Turmeric and Bupleurum will contribute well here. Turmeric is one of nature’s best anti-inflammatory agents. It reduces mast cell release of histamine.

Anticoagulant herbs are valid in the herbal treatment of cancer because abnormal blood coagulation is associated with cancer: Ginkgo, turmeric, garlic as well as quercetin, omega 3 essential fatty acids and vitamin E.

Cell proliferant, but in a healthy way, not uncontrolled and progressive as with cancer…Aloe vera, comfrEy (Symphytum officinale) and gotu kola (Centella asiatica) stimulate the healthy formation and growth of normal body cells.

Vulnerary (healing) – needed after surgery. Vulnerary herbs are also used to minimise scarring after herbal removal of skin cancers such as melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinomas. Again, Aloe gel, comfrey and gotu kola are very successful in creating flat new tissue growth and reducing raised kelloid scars.

Herbs that inhibit angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) – because the development of a blood supply is important to the survival and growth of a tumor:
curcuminoids in turmeric catechins in Green Tea (bovine and shark cartilage, although not herbal treatment, also inhibit angiogenesis)

Thus, there is a huge number of herbs that may be used in the treatment of cancer. Commonsense can tell us to nourish the body with essential nutrients. It tells us to nurture the spirit and emotions and to utilize herbs that have been proven over the millennia, or through modern science, to provide healing properties and fight against cancer.

You can support your body to a natural solution to fighting skin cancer and other cancers with the immense natural chemicals found in plants. They act upon and within the tissues of your body, providing amazing tools for healing that your body needs.

by Moira Elliott, Medical Herbalist

I am a qualified medical herbalist and have studied the use of herbs for the treatment of skin cancer in depth.

My e-book “How to Treat Skin Cancer Naturally” gives you the specific herbs to use for skin cancer.

What you get in this book:

– descriptions of the main skin cancers,
– in depth discussion on biopsy,
– fully referenced and supported by scientific studies
– in depth case studies, including my own personal experience with a family member
– and I outline exactly how some important herbs work to kill skin cancer.